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Jivec
20th January 2009, 05:11 PM
How do you set up your network so that you have one login across multiple macs.

ie I want to use the same account on 3 macs so that I have access to the same files, settings etc

and If you can two this how would you add another user to do the same thing

^this probably doesn't make sense though

rickyd
20th January 2009, 05:43 PM
Sounds like a server setup is required here, unless there is some software that will achieve this. Take a look at Mac OS X Leopard (or wait for an educated response).

Jivec
20th January 2009, 05:43 PM
alright thanks

luke_in_tas
20th January 2009, 05:47 PM
Doing this involves using Mac OS X server (on a Mac acting as a server). The user accounts, and home directories, are all stored on the server, and the individual clients Macs are set up to load the user accounts from the server wen you log in.

Setting this up takes a little bit of work, but isn't particularly hard. However, the cost of doing so (purchasing a Mac to act as your server and purchasing OS X Server to run on it) is probably more than is justified for most home networks.

I don't think there is any simpler way. There have been rumours about Apple investigating portable home directories for some time (e.g that you could put on a portable HDD or iPod), but no solution as yet.

Jivec
20th January 2009, 05:59 PM
and you couldnt set it up using a linux server etc?

NeoRicen
20th January 2009, 06:44 PM
You can use MobileMe to sync your calenders, contacts, mail accounts, preferences, keychain, widgets and dock, so they're basically the same user account then. The only thing you can't sync is files. If all the macs are in the one house then you could just put them in a shared folder, or if not just use iDisk.

luke_in_tas
20th January 2009, 07:00 PM
and you couldnt set it up using a linux server etc?

I don't know, but if it was possible it would be much more difficult than with OS X Server. I'm running OS X Server (Tiger Server still at the moment) at home on a Mac mini. If you are really keen to go ahead with something like this it isn't difficult.

You can get some more info on OS X Server here: Apple - Mac OS X Server (http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/). Also, Apple have some explanatory videos on how to set different elements of OS X Server up here (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=279805844&subMediaType=Video). An overview of directory services can be seen here (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?i=47081272&id=279805844) and a video on automatic setup of clinets can be found here (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?i=26057245&id=279805844).

elnewb
20th January 2009, 07:10 PM
You could set up an LDAP server.

Currawong
20th January 2009, 07:30 PM
It can be done with any major OS as far as I know, but when I tried it with OSX server, it wasn't trivial to do, even with Apple's interface for it.

adamd
20th January 2009, 07:36 PM
Try "Not Mac".. I recall seeing the ability to sync a certain folder, instead of setting it to sync a "notiDisk". :P

Rayd
20th January 2009, 07:39 PM
You could set up an LDAP server.

i second this.

luke_in_tas
20th January 2009, 07:43 PM
LDAP (running on one of the Macs or a Linux server) would solve the single sign-on issue, but does it solve the problem of multiple home directories?

elnewb
20th January 2009, 07:48 PM
Also install file services such as afp/ftp/nfs if you want a home directory. It does start to get a bit tricky when you want to deal with more than just logins.

Jivec
20th January 2009, 08:42 PM
Can someone provide me with more info on a LDAP sever. I have done a bit of googling but I unsure what exactly to look for

elnewb
20th January 2009, 08:48 PM
It kind of sounds like this sort of solution might be a bit out of your league Jivec.

You should be able to install an LDAP server on any linux or bsd distro. I think Ubuntu server comes with OpenLDAP as an install option.

Here's an outline of what you need to do:
1. Find a linux/bsd distro
2. Buy or build a PC
3. Install linux/bsd on this PC
4. Connect PC to network
5. Configure OpenLDAP and create users.
6. Set up your OS X machines to use LDAP authentication.
7.[OPTIONAL] Create a file share that auto mounts on login.

The hardest part would be installing and configuring LDAP.

blakat
20th January 2009, 08:57 PM
It kind of sounds like this sort of solution might be a bit out of your league Jivec.

You should be able to install an LDAP server on any linux or bsd distro. I think Ubuntu server comes with OpenLDAP as an install option.

Here's an outline of what you need to do:
1. Find a linux/bsd distro
2. Buy or build a PC
3. Install linux/bsd on this PC
4. Connect PC to network
5. Configure OpenLDAP and create users.
6. Set up your OS X machines to use LDAP authentication.
7.[OPTIONAL] Create a file share that auto mounts on login.

The hardest part would be installing and configuring LDAP.

If you want the same config / prefs on all the machines the last step here isn't optional. it's essential. you would need to move all your user documents to the file server and have the home directories mount on the machine into /Users/ from the server; which means having a fairly good machine for disk I/O as any user docs / preferences will need to be sourced from the server.

I've had a play with the mobile accounts feature in OS X but it just didn't work reliably enough to be functional for that sort of purpose, it's real use is for laptop users who come in and sync every now and then.

semaja2
20th January 2009, 09:10 PM
Is it possible to use a hard link to map /Users to say /Volumes/Users so on every machine you plug in the USB drive boot and it loads the profile from it?

blakat
20th January 2009, 09:13 PM
Is it possible to use a hard link to map /Users to say /Volumes/Users so on every machine you plug in the USB drive boot and it loads the profile from it?

Still takes the authentication from the machine, which is separate accounts (separately managed passwords). Additionally you'll have issues if you want to move quickly from one machine to the other no just yanking the usb stick out.

dangelovich
20th January 2009, 09:21 PM
It can be done without server by mounting a remote filesystem and changing the user homedir on each machine to be the mounted path. The accounts would still be separate (no shared password), but if you use the same UID and GIDs, the macs shouldn't know the difference. Logging onto multiple machines at once would cause issues, especially if you were using the same apps on different machines and changing settings etc.
Its probably a bad idea, and asking for trouble.

Jivec
21st January 2009, 07:38 AM
Thanks for you help